17 September 2019 (gig)
20 September 2019
One of the icons of early MTV was certainly Adam and the Ants. Led by Adam Ant, the band's ambitious videos were in fairly constant rotation on the then-new music outlet. After splitting from the successful Adam and The Ants in early 1982, Ant's individual career exploded when he released his first solo disc, "Friend or Foe," that same year. Also, the initial single from the record, "Goody Two Shoes," was an international smash, and Ant became a major force in the New Wave movement that was invading the music charts in the wake of MTV’s growing influence.
As "Friend or Foe" is one of the grand moments of Ant's long-storied career, he is now performing the disc in full on his current tour, which performed at the Shubert Theater in Boston, Massachusetts on September 17, 2019. This current jaunt is the first time that Ant has performed his breakthrough disc live and in its entirety (and in on the heels of Ant's 2017/2018 "Kings Of The Wild Frontier" tour in which he played sold-out shows throughout North America, the UK, New Zealand and Australia).
With several audience members decked out in pirate regalia and wearing the face paint that was very present on Ant during the Adam and the Ants days, the elated crowd was treated to a 28 song-set of classics.
Ant opened strongly with the song "Friend or Foe," followed by "Something Girls," and "Place in the Country." While “A Place in the Country” may appear to be a song about escaping the pressures of city life, it’s actually a warning to a lover that her behavior is not to be tolerated ("You got to get this complication out of your head/Or find another man instead)."
"Desperate But Not Serious" (the third single from "Friend or Foe") elated the crowd, and after "Here Comes the Grump," a mesmerizing cover of The Doors' "Hello, I Love You" (after which, Ant spoke of his love for the Doors, which allegedly was responsible for the leather pants he is so famous for, ala, Jim Morrison), and drove the already jubilant assemblage into overdrive with an ardent, "Goody Two Shoes."
After a few more "Friend or Foe" cuts ("Crackpot History and the Right to Lie," "Made of Money," and "Cajun Twisters"), Ant wound down the entire disc performance, and concluded with the unique, "Try This for Sighs," and the eclectic, "Man Called Marco," where the atmospheric music sort of masks a somber tale which includes the heart-tugging line, "Marriages are made in Heaven/So what the hell happened to mine?"
With the entire "Friend or Foe" performance completed, Ant played a barrage of Adam and The Ants songs. A seven-song set of his former band's classics, "Dog Eat Dog," "Kick!," "Antmusic," "Zerox," "Cartrouble," "Ants Invasion," and "Prince Charming" was only interrupted once, after "Kick!," by the title track from his 1985 (and third solo effort) release, "Vive Le Rock."
The now 64-year-old Ant was a fantastic site, as he moves onstage with much grace and agility and has the spark and vitality of a man half his age. His current band is made up of five crack musicians featuring: Will Crewdson (lead guitar), Joe Holweger (bass), A.P. Leach (rhythm guitar), and dual drummers, Andy Woodard and Jola.
1983's frisky and ultra-catchy, "Strip," still titillated, and the set closing "Kings of the Wild Frontier," "Beat My Guest," and "Stand and Deliver," left the crowd rabid for more. Ant obliged with a three-song encore of "Press Darlings," "Red Scab," and "Physical (You're So)," ending a night so perfectly, that even the most ardent Ant fan in Boston was more than overjoyed.
Opening act the Glam Skanks were a gem. Filled with elements of 70s Glam, the quartet riffled off an eight song set that had all the passion of the early Runaways. In your face tunes as "Don't Waste It" and "Spirit of Rock n Roll" were great fun, and a rocking cover of Donna Summers, "Hot Stuff," was most appropriate as Summer was originally from the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston.